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October 3, 2015

Holly Hunter speaks about Saving Grace

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 14th 2008 8:24AM

Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko on TNT's Saving Grace

The cable networks have been very, very good to women over the last few years. Particularly strong, independent women who are on par, or many times above, the men in their lives. This has been exemplified by characters like Brenda Johnson in The Closer, PJ Franklin on My Boys, Nancy Botwin on Weeds, Patty Hewes on Damages, and the ladies from HBO's Sex in the City.

Last year, someone new joined Leigh, PJ, and the rest of the women of cable. Her name was Grace Hanadarko -- the smoking, drinking, and sexually promiscuous Oklahoma City police detective from TNT's Saving Grace. Grace is played by Holly Hunter, the award-winning actress who has appeared in such films as Raising Arizona, The Piano (for which she won an Academy Award) and The Incredibles. Late last week, Holly spoke to members of the press concerning the second season of Saving Grace (premiering tonight at 10 pm) and what's in store for the hard-living detective.

Hunter didn't provide too many details about the upcoming season during the call, other than the relationship between her character and her guardian angel -- Earl -- would change during the season. It was already changing throughout the first season as both got to know each other better, said Holly. The actress also mentioned that the way her character acts with her nephew will change as Grace covers some distance this season to get closer to her family.

Despite the lack of information provided, Hunter stated that it has been interesting to see where the writers have taken her character this season. According to Holly, this season's scripts have been extraordinary and "each script is a more complex ride that Grace takes." Hunter said that the series was able to find a balance between the character's work and regular life as the first season progressed. Now that balance has been achieved Hunter says that the writers are taking the show to a new level, which is something the actress is excited about.

When talking about Grace, Hunter mentioned that the most thrilling thing about the character is how alive she is. While so many people are asleep during their days on the planet, the actress says that Grace spends an extraordinary amount of time awake. Her curiosity about what she and others are capable of keeps her awake and interested. Hunter confesses that she would love to be as alive in real life as her character is on the small screen. However, Hunter kidded that the rigors of a shooting schedule beginning at 6:00 AM don't allow her to be as awake as she wants to be.

When it comes to the workload of shooting a television series over a movie, Hunter said that television has been really difficult, yet it has really been a high. "You really feel the wind in your hair when doing a TV series," said Holly. She continued by stating that the work has been very fulfilling and great for an actress like herself because it allows her to be very flexible and a problem solver on the set.

Hunter is very grateful for the cable networks, particularly FX and HBO and, specifically, the shows The Shield and The Sopranos. According to Holly, those programs, along with Rescue Me, started the whole concept of dramas fueled 100% by the characters. "Characters that straddle two worlds," added Hunter. One world being the one we live in while the other is a bit darker. Holly also credited the cable networks for giving women a chance to play highly controversial characters like herself: a woman who lives her life in deep grayness.

As to the shows Holly enjoys watching? It's no surprise that her list contained character driven cable shows previously or currently on the air. Mentioned were The Sopranos, Rescue Me, The Shield, Weeds, Mad Men, and The Wire.

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I have always liked Holly Hunter in movies and shows on the TNT channel. But, as a native of Oklahoma, born and raised, and a female enlisted U.S. Navy retired veteran who worked in the computer technology field both in and out of the Navy since 1974. Many times the only woman in the many Navy and civilian technical schools and jobs I held. I find the series Saving Grace an insult to all women who have worked so hard in the military, investigative services and corporate world to achieve the respect of their superiors, peers and the people they supervise. Despite that old redneck belief that women sleep their way to the top. I know I didn't and neither did the few dedicated women in my field I was lucky enough to know. We worked hard and sometimes we partied hard because we worked two to three times harder than most men to achieve our goals. And, we deserved to let off just as much steam as they did. But we did it by not constantly being drunken, fouled mouth, sluts, who slept with whom ever came along married or not. We were dumb enough to believe that when our daughters grew up the world would have changed and they would be considered as equals to their male peers. There would be less violence toward women and children. And, when the Cold War ended, we would not see another begin in our life times. We would not see another Police Action like Vietnam. These were our hopes and dreams we discussed in far off lands when we went out to have a beer together. Grace has a job to do, she is a Police Detective. It is a job to be proud of, not one to make the rest of the U.S. believe that is what most women from Oklahoma are like. Oklahoman's had a hard enough time turning the word OKIE into a good word, not one that meant poor migrant worker that was depicted in John Steinbeck's book the Grapes of Wrath. So give the women of Oklahoma a break because we are still working on the men of this state to give us a break. Most of them are all still back in the nineteen hundreds.

July 26 2008 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

Thanks for that. I updated the name.

July 14 2008 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who is Leigh Johnson on "The Closer"?

There is a Brenda-Lee Johnson on "The Closer"...

July 14 2008 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CRVBOY's comment

Now it says "Benda Johnson" which sounds like an accident suffered during sex.

July 14 2008 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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